The Rev’d Canon W. Gordon Reid, Rector Emeritus

A brief outline of Canon Reid’s life and ministry provides many insights to our parish life of worship and work.

1943 Born in Hawick in the Scottish Border country

1948-60 Educated at Wilton School, Hawick, & Galashiels Academy

1960-63 Edinburgh University: M.A. in French & German

1963-64 Scottish Episcopal Theological College, Edinburgh

1964-66 Oxford University (Keble College): B.A. in Theology

1966-67 Cuddesdon Theological College, Oxford

1967-69 Curate of St Salvador’s Church, Edinburgh. This was a small Anglo-Catholic church in a new housing area. The two priests there were also chaplains to the Anglicans in Edinburgh Prison (very few-the majority were Presbyterian or Roman Catholic!)

1969-72 Chaplain of Salisbury Theological College and Tutor in New Testament and Moral Theology. The College is situated in the beautiful mediaeval Cathedral Close. There were around eighty seminarians.

1972-84 Rector of St Michael & All Saints Church in Edinburgh. This is the most Anglo-Catholic church in Edinburgh, with a liturgy and music similar to S Clement’s (though on a smaller scale). For most of my time there I was the Scottish Regional Chaplain for the Actors’ Church Union, which appoints a Chaplain to every theatre. I was also the Scottish Superior of the Society of Mary. In the wider world I was elected as a member of Lothian Regional Council and was Vice-Chairman of the Education Committee and Convenor of Lothian & Borders Police Board (I think the American equivalent is Police Commissioner).

1984-87 Provost (Dean) of Inverness Cathedral in the Diocese of Moray, Ross & Caithness, the most northerly diocese in the British Isles, covering most of the Highlands.

In 1988, I was invited by Bishop John Satterthwaite to join the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe. This is the diocese of the Church of England which covers the whole of Europe, with about 150 chaplaincies ministering to expatriate English speakers. After a year in the British Embassy Church in Ankara, Turkey, I became Chaplain of St Peter & St Sigfrid, Stockholm, Sweden, another church accredited to the British Embassy, but with members drawn from around twenty different English-speaking countries. I also ministered to smaller groups in other parts of Sweden.

Then in 1992, the Bishop appointed me Vicar-General of the Diocese, and I went to the Diocesan Office, first in Kensington and then in Westminster. For four years I criss-crossed Europe, from Scandinavia to Turkey, from Russia to the Mediterranean. I instituted new chaplains, chaired vacancy committees and church councils and made visitations on behalf of the Bishop. I was also in charge of the Diocesan Office, where the finances and ministry training of the Diocese are coordinated.

For two years, while I was Vicar-General, at the request of the Bishop of London, I was Priest-in-Charge of one of the City of London churches, St Michael’s, Cornhill.

In 1998 I was appointed Dean of Gibraltar and went to live on the Rock, the three mile long British Colony at the very tip of the south of Spain, looking over the Straits of Gibraltar to Morocco. As well as the daily worship of the Cathedral, I coordinated the relations between the Cathedral and the Royal Navy and cooperated with the Roman Catholic Church in sharing the work of Religious Education in the schools.

After only two years in Gibraltar, the Bishop appointed me Archdeacon of Italy & Malta, one of the seven Archdeaconries of our Diocese. I went to live in Milan in North Italy where I was also Chaplain of All Saints Church. From this base, I looked after the Anglican Chaplaincies all over Italy and on the island of Malta, a former British colony where we have a Pro-Cathedral. I also spent about one week in each month in London, serving on the Bishop’s Council and other diocesan bodies.

And now I have come to be Rector of S Clement’s, Philadelphia, and my hope is that the enormous variety of ministries I have been fortunate enough to have had will be a strength in my new ministry among you. As you can see, I have held many different posts and been in many different places, and yet in every place the priest’s job is the same-to show God’s love in Jesus Christ by preaching the Good News of the Gospel and by celebrating the sacraments of his redemption. The Rectors of S Clement’s have done this faithfully through the years, and I know I have entered into a fine tradition.


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